HAIKOU, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- This winter seemed prolonged and colder than previous years amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, but Chinese people, young and old, from all walks of life, have all pitched in in the fight against the virus and kept each other warm.
By the end of Sunday, the overall confirmed cases of the coronavirus infection on the Chinese mainland had reached 77,150, and 2,592 people had died of the disease, COVID-19, according to the National Health Commission.
So far, more than 30,000 medical personnel, including military medics, have been sent to Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus outbreak, to help combat the epidemic.
In this invisible battle against COVID-19, there are also public-spirited common citizens, who have forged a strong force backing the front line.
A "SNOWBIRD" DOCTOR
Dong Jie, a 67-year-old veteran doctor, is one of the "snowbird" seniors who has been traveling from the north part of the country to the southernmost island province of Hainan, a natural tourist resort, for a warm winter each year.
He bought a house in the county of Chengmai after retiring from the infectious disease department of a hospital in northeast China's Liaoning Province in 2013. But this year, Dong is more than just a snowbird pensioner.
Dong was honored with a second-class merit citation for his outstanding work in the SARS outbreak in 2003. Seventeen years later, he joined in the fight against COVID-19 as a volunteer at the People's Hospital of Chengmai.
"I can share my experience in combating SARS with them and shore up their confidence," said Dong.
He made several Powerpoint presentations to instruct inexperienced medical workers in Chengmai hospital how to properly wear hazmat suits and better protect themselves from being infected.
"Sometimes he went to the infection and fever clinics in person to give our doctors some guidance, which has moved me a lot," said Lu Shanshan, vice president of the hospital.
A MOBILE BARBER STAND
In order to contain the epidemic, most public sites have remained closed, including barbershops. A mobile barber stand was set up in the county of Feixi, east China's Anhui Province in a timely manner.
Three volunteer hairdressers wearing masks with simple instruments like scissors, combs and as well as medical alcohol, make up the stand, which has served more than 100 customers since Feb. 15.
"Many people working for epidemic prevention and control have not had their hair cut for more than 20 days, and we want to do our bit," said 46-year-old Ge Xianling, one of the volunteers.
From 2 p.m. till dusk every day, the barber team is busy running around communities and rural areas, giving free haircuts to those at check posts for epidemic prevention and control as well as elderly residents.
"Those who were on duty and couldn't leave, we would go over to them, one by one, asking if anyone needs a haircut," said Ge. After each haircut, they would carefully disinfect their tools and rush to the next one.
A POST-00S DONATION
Most schools across the country have postponed the opening of the spring semester, but Chinese students currently have greater concerns than their studies.
A picture showing two girls in school uniforms standing in front of a truck loaded up with vegetables, with a banner tied on it saying "Wuhan be strong," has gone viral online.
Sixteen-year-olds Zheng Wenyu and Ye Qianqiu are students of Hainan Middle School. Together with their classmate, they initiated a donation for Wuhan on WeChat groups, according to Hainan Ribao, a local newspaper.
Their post-00s peers, including their friends and classmates, donated their pocket money and even their "lucky" money, which is given to children as a Lunar New Year gift. About 120,000 yuan (17,170 U.S. dollars) was raised within two days.
Learning that the sales of agricultural products in Hainan plunged to nearly nil due to the epidemic, they used the funds to purchase 60 tonnes of pumpkins and white gourds from local farmers and transported them to Wuhan.
"They have set an example for the post-00s generation, and they are the hope of our country," netizens cheered.
The winter has passed and spring is coming. Ordinary Chinese people, from the grey-haired to teenagers, are sparing no efforts to battle against the COVID-19 outbreak and have great faith in winning the "war" against the virus.